2020 has certainly been a difficult year for many people around the world. Millions have been sickened by the COVID-19 virus, laid off from work and are feeling financially strained. But as hard as it has been, there are still some positive things that have come from this period. Here are eight good things that have come from the COVID-19 pandemic to share with anyone who could use a smile.
1. Lower Carbon Emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to fall by almost eight percent - marking the largest decrease ever. Economies slowing down has caused a decrease in fossil fuel usage, which has led to cleaner air all over the world. Yay for Mother Earth.
2. Working Habits Are Changing
While many essential workers are not able to work from home, some jobs have switched to remote work.
Here are a few that working from home has made some positive changes for employees:
- It allows for more quality time at home with your family
- You save on gas and travel, which not only saves you time and money but helps the environment
- More flexibility to do things like workout, get dinner started, do laundry and other tasks around the house
- Less of a commute means more time to hit the snooze button in the morning
- Technology, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, is helping employees streamline their work by cutting out (often unnecessary) in-person meetings
3. Essential Workers Are Gaining Recognition
It has been heartwarming to see videos of people applauding healthcare workers when they switch shifts or delivering meals to nurses and doctors who are working late hours to care for coronavirus patients.
Delivery drivers, shelf-stackers and grocery store cashiers are also being recognized as they have been working hard on the frontline to ensure that people are getting the food, water and other essential items they need.
4. Healthcare Reform Is Growing Stronger
In America especially, the coronavirus has brought to light potential flaws or areas for improvement within the healthcare system. Especially as hospitals and medical facilities across the nation struggled to keep up with the demand for care the virus has created.
Some areas identified for improvement include:
- The need for medical schools to add public health to their studies
- Creating spare capacity in hospitals
- Investing in safer housing amid outbreaks in nursing homes
- Implementing more “telehealth” appointment capabilities
With the onset of COVID-19, there’s a potential for improvements like these to be fast-tracked in the future.
5. We’re Connecting with Loved Ones
For nine months, most of us have found ourselves with more time on our hands than ever before. With this free time, we’ve found ways to connect with friends and family who are near and far. Thanks to technology like video conferencing, anyone can easily connect with friends and family while hosting large virtual gatherings. Even though this isn’t as good as the “real thing,” it makes it easier to gather and will make the times that groups can get together again even better.
6. More Community Involvement
From community singalongs to hosting food drives, people are coming together to help others and boost their community’s spirit. These times are incredibly difficult, especially for those already suffering from mental illness, compromised immune systems and the elderly. People around the world are offering their time, money and resources to help where they can. It’s so inspiring to see the collective good in so many.
7. More People Are Getting Outdoors
With less time spent in the car and the office, people are finding more time to get outside and enjoy being with their families or trying new workout routines. Being outside and getting some fresh air has been a huge bonus!
Some socially distanced activities you can enjoy outside include:
- Explore new trails or jogging routes in your area
- Ride bikes solo or with your family
- Check local or state parks to see if they are open and safe (Check with the local parks and recreation office to make sure they are open)
- Explore your neighborhood with your children
When done safely, this is an ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors - especially if you’ve been too busy in the past to really do so.
8. Many Individuals and Businesses Have Pivoted
From the chef who is making and selling their own chocolates, the artist making Christmas cards, restaurants delivering meals, musicians streaming concerts, doctors conducting virtual appointments and all sorts of other creative ideas, may individuals and businesses evaluated this new landscape and came up with inventive solutions and ideas to offer their products and services. It’s truly been inspiring to see creative people take action and how they pivoted during the pandemic.
The pandemic has turned the world upside down but taking away something positive will make you more grateful, help you find the good in others and make you mentally stronger as we all go through this together.